Testimony/ God restores / February 5, 2019

I do not know how many of you have read any other parts of my testimony. The dark and what could look like hopeless periods of my life. I have shared how I was falsely accused and criminally charged with felony assault. This had been done after I had been cleared by CPS three times, when they found the charges were not true. My stepmother had turned my daughter against me, and with the help of my father I was arrested and dragged through the criminal courts. In the end I lost my daughter and was banned from her life up to not having any contact up to 3rd party. It was a difficult defeat. My world had ended as I knew it. Especially when my mother died of a sudden stroke within a month of the courts ruling.  All of this is included in another testimony “I gave up on life and survived”. Well after 7 years my daughter did come back into my life almost a year and a half ago. I was so happy to have her back in my life that I trusted God that He would protect me and not let go to prison for having contact with my daughter, and the grandson you gave birth to while I was banned from her life. I had asked her to go to the courts last year so I could have permission to see her without fear of legal repercussion, because since it was a criminal charge she did not have to be used at this point to have me arrested again. Anyone with a grudge against me could tell the courts I was in violation of the court ruling. Mainly the people I feared was my own family. Since I was afraid of their actions but did not want to reject my daughter and wanted to get to know my grandson I tolerated any negative behavior on their part out of fear. Fear of going to prison and fear of losing my daughter and now my grandson.

Some may wonder how did I go on with my life after all that I had lived through. There is a scripture that I held on to, and shared with other parents and it is Jeremiah 31:16-17 But I, the Lord, say to dry your tears. Someday your children will come home from the enemy’s land. Then all you have done for them will be greatly rewarded. 17 So don’t lose hope.  I, the Lord, have spoken.(CEV)

Here is the news I have to share today. My daughter went to the courts yesterday and the good news is I am no longer banned from her life. I am angry to learn that the judge and attorneys had lied to me at my final hearing, and that the banning from my daughters life ended in April 2017, but the the judge, the prosecutor and the papers I received gave no end date, stating that I was permanently banned. I have lived with the fear of what they could do to me since my daughter had chosen to come back into my life. I tolerated their negative behavior and bit my tongue more times than I can count, afraid if I spoke up for myself all hell would break out again and I did not know if I could go through the trials again. So lived in fear and took whatever they gave with a smile, but the risk of what they could do to me was outweighed by the joy of having my daughter and getting to know my grandson made was worth the risk. I also had to trust God would not me to suffer the same pain again. Now that dark cloud is gone and the anger will go with it. I am so relieved to be free of that fear and I can say without doubt when He gave me that scripture, He gave me a lifeline.

I thank God my daughter is back in my life and now I have a wonderful grandson, He doubled my blessing.

January 19, 2019 Starting off the year right.

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Art by Julie Sheppard

Hello Everyone!

I am sorry that I have not written anything for a while now. This last year has definitely been busy and a lot has happened. I have also learned a lot. I started working on’Right Relations’, last year and it does not feel like I have gotten very much accomplished on this project, but it has given me time to reflect on the relationships I have had and the testimonies of how each of the relationships had effected me and my relationship with Jesus, and even my current relationships(none that are romantic). I am praying to share my insights through out this year and possibly help or give hope to at least one person.

This year has started off well. I was able to share my testimony on my last suicide attempt which I have shared here, ‘Testimony, I gave up on life and survived’. Even though I had posted this a few years back I had not publicly shared it, with those who knew me or went to church with. I am grateful I did though because since I gave shared that part of my testimony, I have had people talk to me and share about themselves and how my testimony did help them. I have many chapters in my life and many testimonies of the things God has done for me through some very dark periods of my life, and I have written some down and shared them here. I guess it is coming to the time to share them in person.

All of you reading this have testimonies. You are alive and lived through so many different things, some good, some bad, and some tragic. You have a story to share. I encourage you to so so. Share your testimony, break it down into chapters so you do not become overwhelmed. In Revelation 12, you will read …10 And I heard a loud voice in heaven, saying: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of His Christ. For the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down—he who accuses them day and night before our God. 11 They have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; and they did not love their lives so as to shy away from death. 12 Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea; with great fury the devil has come down to you, knowing he has only a short time.”…

Life shared is life given, and that is what you give when you give your testimony. I know how afraid you can be when thinking of sharing yourself with another, and how even writing your testimony can be a draining experience. Pouring yourself out, exposing yourself, and knowing that once it is out there you can’t take it back. Then fear of judgement and rejection begin to work on our thoughts. Afraid that if they learn who we truly are and what we had done in the past they would no longer love or want us in their life. One word of encouragement is, ‘god knows you, and He knows everything you have ever done and He still loves you!’ Proof is in that He loved you so very much that He sent Jesus, His Son to die for you. So that you can live. Yes some may criticize or even condemn us when we open up and let His light into the dark areas of our lives, but His light overcomes the darkness. His love never fails, and He will never abandon you.

So it is now your turn, speak up and share what He has done in your life, and reach out to someone you do not even know that is hurting and give them hope.

P.S. I have not stopped working on Right Relations and I am still looking for testimonies on relationships, both good and bad, that I may include in this work. If you feel led to share with me please leave me a comment and I will give you my contact information. I also would like to tell you anything you share with me if used can be kept anonymous.

Thank you and God bless

National Suicide Prevention Week& My Testimony

In Recognition of National Suicide Prevention week I am sharing my testimony once again, not because I am proud of what I had done but to share how grateful I am that I am still alive today. I hope this piece of my testimony will help at least one person.

Testimony / I gave up on life and survived

This is one of the most difficult thing I have to share with the world. I am not seeking your pity nor do I need your judgment. I am sharing this only because I pray to reach if just one person who is at the end of their rope and is ready to jump of of that ledge.

I cannot say that I understand your pain or what has lead you to this point but I pray that you will stop long enough to read these words that  I am writing.

It will be five years this Thanksgiving when my world had grown so dark and the pain was more than I could bear that I did give up on life. Falsely accused and arrested in the middle of the night just a couple of months prior my world was turned upside down. After a lifetime of abuse and a multitude of wrong decisions I was alone and all the pain I had suffered over my life came down upon me like a crushing wave. I am not a coward but had nothing that I felt that was living for. Alone on  a holiday meant for family and giving thanks all I could see was darkness and feel the loneliness of being cut out of my own life.  I lost my will to live. So with what I thought was going to be my last breath I kicked the stool out from underneath me. The belt I used to hang myself did not do the job I thought it would because it stretched to the point that even though I had lifted my legs it stretched until I was literally sitting on the floor. Yelling at God and pounding my fist on my floor like a child throwing a temper tantrum, screaming that I couldn’t even do this right. I continued to yell and cry until I heard a voice. It was not harsh or condemning but loving. I heard it say, ‘Are you done yet?’  I know some of you probably think I was crazy and just hearing things. Obviously my mental state was impaired. (This was not the first or only time I have heard God speaking to me by the way, but the other times they are different stories.) I had just tried to hang myself. Yet as I heard that voice I know I was not imagining anything. It was real, I had heard His Voice before so I do know it when I hear it. Though no one was physically in my empty apartment but myself there was someone who was watching over me. I even knew what they meant when they asked if I was done yet. You see this was not the my first suicide attempt, but my third. So I responded, ‘Yes Lord I am done. Obviously You aren’t done with me yet.’ Then I heard Him say, ‘Get up. It is not over yet.’

So I stood up and took the belt from around my own neck. I was amazed because how long it had stretched and how that no mark was left on my neck. (A little note a couple of years later I tried to stretch that same belt and it did not give an inch, so no one can tell me God is not real.) I still had a long road ahead of me and the trials did not go the way I had believed and hoped for. Even on the final day of court when the rest of my world as I knew it came to a crashing end and even though I was innocent of the charges I was still found guilty. I lost everything but my life, my home, and I was banned for life from my daughter, so I had lost her too. You won’t believe this but as crushed as I felt, I heard God speak to me again. He said to me, ‘Can you forgive them now?’ I responded with, ‘Not because I want to but because of You I will.’ Even though not one thing went well for me, I knew God was with me. That even though I was found guilty in the court of man I was not guilty in His eyes and that He did not abandon me even when I wanted to end it all. My mother died suddenly at the end of my trials, and I lost my daughter, but God was with me through it all. I won’t say that thoughts of giving up have not crossed my mind since but a small still voice says you can’t give up now, You have come too far to give up now. So as hard as it is at times because the battles I still must fight wear me down that I want to toss in the towel and quit, I know that I can’t. I must finish the race. I have not yet reached the finish line.

I will never know why my life did not end that day or why my previous attempts failed, when others who have attempted the same act are gone. I know that I am not a better person than anyone else. My life is no more valuable than another’s life so why am I still here? To be honest only God knows the real reason. The only reason I can think of is that I am to share my story and hopefully reach at least one person who is where I was at, who is hiding their pain and their struggles from the world till it has gotten to be too much for them to carry by themselves. The other reason might be to inspire you to pray for God to reveal those who are hiding their pain from the world, so that you can reach out to someone who is suffering. To someone who feels rejected, cut off and isolated, so you can let them know that they are not alone and that someone does care. Call them or even better visit with them. Don’t push too hard to get them to talk but be there and continue to be there. I did not immediately share my story but a year later I was part of a church who arranged an event inspired by a number of suicides in the area that happened in a very short time period. I saw lives touched and even though I was inspired to start sharing my story, I didn’t. With the holidays upon us I personally know how difficult it is for anyone who suffers from grief, depression and anxiety or is suffering any form of abuse. You may feel unloved, rejected and alone. The pain may be suffocating and the world may be completely dark without light of hope. I was there and I survived but you may not so please don’t give up. If there is no one in your immediate life that you feel safe to turn to, there are others that even though they may be strangers, who will listen to you who will give you the compassion that you need and even help. Your life is valuable and you are important. So important that God sent His Son to die for you.

Call someone. Get help. Please do not give up. I may not know you but you are in my prayers and I pray you find the love of Jesus and the strength and comfort He has for you.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is a national network of local crisis centers that provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We’re committed to improving crisis services and advancing suicide prevention by empowering individuals, advancing professional best practices, and building awareness.  1-800-273-8255  website  http://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/#

HELPGUIDE.ORG

If you’re thinking about suicide, please read Suicide Help or call 1-800-273-TALK (8255) in the U.S.! To find a suicide helpline outside the U.S., visit IASP or Suicide.org.

http://www.helpguide.org/articles/suicide-prevention/suicide-prevention-helping-someone-who-is-suicidal.htm

1-800-SUICIDE

suicidepreventionlifeline.org

Always remember that there are phone numbers that you can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,  from any location in the United States:

 

Testimony / I gave up on life and survived

1-800-273-TALK / (1-800-784-2433)   (1-800-273-8255)

This is only a short list of where you can find help whether you are the one who is struggling or you think you may know someone who needs help please get the help that you need and please do it before it is too late. I know my life choices have been far from right too many times and that I survived but I know that if I try again I won’t survive again. Life is precious please don’t give up because you are precious and nothing can replace you in this world.

Check out this article on a special coffee shop that serves more than coffee.

Sip of Hope’s proceeds go toward Hope For the Day

https://www.popsugar.com/fitness/Sip-Hope-Coffee-Shop-Mental-Health-44989598

 

Right Relations/ Sibling Rivalry/ The Cain and Abel Story

I love the people you find in the Bible. Even the not so good ones, because you can relate to so many of them. I am continuing on my project of ‘Right Relations’ how are earthly relations affect our relationship with Jesus and our Heavenly Father, and how we can learn from our relationships and make them better. Allowing His Holy Spirit to be a part of these relationships.

Back to the beginning / Sibling Rivalry/ The Cain and Abel Story

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   How many of you have brothers or sisters? Next question; How many of you have a relationship that can be compared to Cain and Abel? Do you wonder how others that are close and loving to their siblings do it? I know of many brothers and sister who say their sibling is their best friend. Do you envy these relationships? I know I have wanted since a young child to have a family that is close and loving. I wanted to be accepted and loved and I thought why doesn’t my own family love me? It has been a battle just to survive in my family, and I even had to fight my own brother. My stepmother had said that there was a devil and an angel in our house, referring to me and my brother. Our fights got pretty bad. When we were young and he would come at me I was big enough to get him off me and hold him down until he calmed down enough that I was not afraid he would try to hurt me again. Unfortunately more times than not, one of my parents would walk in and see me on top of him, and even I was only trying to restrain him from hurting me, I was the one who got in trouble. No surprise there, no matter who did what, I was always to blame, and took the punishment (another excuse to be abused.) Eventually my brother got bigger than me and protecting myself became more difficult. Our last fight back when I was in my early 20’s, he had me pinned and was trying to choke me and was yelling things in my face that I will not repeat here. I got him to stop by responding to something he called me, by saying, ‘Yeah, just like Mom!’ He got off me and went to another room. The first time my brother had told me he loved me,  he was 21, and had first started drinking and I came home to find him sitting on my bed drunk. He told me he knew he was an _____ and he would always be one to me, but he loved me. I was in shock, but grateful he could say he loved me. No need to repeat the rest of that conversation but over ten years later we would have a similar conversation. My brother did not call me things I was not already being called by other family members. I could not go out to eat with him and my father without feeling degraded in public. I would be so humiliated as they verbally tore me apart in front of others, and was too afraid to speak up for myself. I always found it strange how easy t was for me to stand up for others but that I could not defend myself against my own abusers.

Okay time to get back to my relationship with my brother. Even as young children we had been at odds with each other. I have one memory though where we weren’t fighting. I was only five years old and what was about to me I had no idea. We were living in Pacoima and a relative of my father had taken me into our (my brother and mines) bedroom. I remember looking from my bed and seeing my brother cry as the door was being shut on him by this relative. What happened is another subject. I just remember him crying outside our bedroom as I was being molested. After this we were never close. We have fought and been distant from each other. We have not spoken to each other in years now. I still pray for him and his son. Who knows one day this relationship will fall into the reconciled relationship file.

Now look at Cain and Abel. They are the first brothers recorded in Genesis. They were the son’s of Adam and Eve. Abel’s story is short lived because his brother murdered him. Cain’s jealousy turned to anger. It was not Abel’s fault that Cain had not obeyed God in his offering. Abel pleased God, and Cain wanted the labor of his own work to be pleasing. When his offering was rejected, instead of doing what was pleasing and acceptable by God, he took his brother’s life. God still loved Cain and showed it in that when He came to Cain after he had murdered his brother, God did not take Cain’s life. Instead He marked Cain so that no other could take his life. Cain had taken a life so God would have been justified but once again God shows mercy. That is our Heavenly Fathers love. What is sad in this story is two brothers seeking approval of Father, could have been so different if Cain had looked at what his brother offered as a lesson in learning to do what is right, instead of demanding with his actions for things to be done his way. Then he got angry when he didn’t get things his way. Now the sadder part of this story is they not got a chance to reconcile and their parents lost both of their sons.

Is there any of you who can relate to their story? I am not saying your brother or sister has tried to take your life, but that there is such strife in your relationship, that you have no relationship with them other than by name? Or do you have one that you are a part of each other’s life, but every time you are in the same room the battle breaks out and damage continues to be done? Do you pray for them and want to have a peaceful and loving relationship with the, or do you want nothing to do with them, as if they do not exist? What if God had the same attitude a lot of us have? What would our lives be like? Can you imagine God saying, ‘I am done with them. I am tired of how they treat me.’
I am not saying allow a person to do harm to you just because they are your relative. Sometimes we have to be separated from our family. Not just live peacefully but to live safely, because if we stay the damage that is done can cost not just your physical life but your can cause a spiritual death. You get so wrapped in the fighting, the hater and bitterness there is no room for love and forgiveness and with each fight your spirit slowly dies. We must guard our hearts. We can love and forgive and walk away from a relationship that is toxic to you. God can still reach their heart while He heals you of the would the relationship caused you.. Pray for yourself and pray for them. Focus on what you can do that is pleasing to God and let God be the one to deal with the other person. Love and forgive them through prayer. Then if the opportunity comes where you can show them the love God has given you and that He has for them, you might find a “Right Relation’ with them.

Now who are some other siblings we can find in the Bible who we can relate to in our own sibling relationships? I have a few in mind but would love to hear from you. I am still looking for testimonies relating to both right and wrong relationships and what God has done for you in these relationships. Please leave me a comment if you are willing to share your testimony and I will give you my email to contact me privately. There is no judgement or condemnation in Christ, only healing and His love. You do not know you may help by sharing your story. I also will not reveal your name if you would like to keep it  private but still have a story to share. Thank you and God Bless you.

 

Right Relations / The Beginning

It has been a short while since I have been working on this project of ‘Right Relations’, how our relationships here on earth have affected our relationship with our Heavenly Father. I am back at it now and here is my next installment. I am still looking for testimonies to include in this book on relationships both good and bad that can help others draw closer to Jesus, so if you have one you would like to share please contact me, I would love to hear how God has worked in your life.

Here is my latest work on this project, I have gone back to the beginning.

The First Relationship

After God had created the heavens and the earth, and filled the earth with the various living creatures, He formed man out of the dirt and breathed life into him. God saw that it was not good for man to be alone so he took a rib out of the man and created woman. Eve was not Adam’s first relationship. His first relationship was with his Creator, his Heavenly Father. Yet he did not listen to his Father as he should have, and Eve did not listen to her husband. She listened to the serpent and did the ONE thing they were told not to do and ate the fruit of the tree that God had commanded them not to eat of. One action as simple as it may seem damaged a perfect relationship. They lived in Paradise! They had all they would have ever needed, and they threw it away by disobeying the One who had created them and loved them.

Doing what they thought would not harmed them got them kicked out of Paradise and all of its comforts and provisions. Their lives would be filled with hardship and pain. This did not stop God from loving them though. He made a promise which He kept. Through the woman a Savior would be born and He would redeem that which was lost. Read Genesis to get the whole story.

Their story is one of the first broken relationships you will find in the history of all relationships. You might wonder why it is when they had everything and were loved so dearly how they could go against the One who created and loved them, giving them the best life He could. That is a question I cannot answer. How many of us have had everything we could ever want or need and thrown it away for a temporary pleasure though? This doesn’t mean that our lives were perfect or without pain. For many of us the beginnings of our lives on this earth have been filled with various forms of abuse, pain and suffering. We find it hard to trust an unseen God. The idea of a Heavenly Father and His Son is like a myth, or a fairy tale. We are like Thomas, filled with doubt and refusing to believe until we can see and touch, so that we have proof.

We stay distant from Him even after we receive Jesus as our Savior and Lord. He is now a part of our lives, but a part we only find in a book. We don’t truly have a solid relationship with Him. Even after we have received forgiveness for our sins we are in a distant relationship with our Heavenly Father, His Son, and His Holy Spirit. The source of life is there but we are not truly connected. It is like that distant relative that you have never met. You know they exist but you have never laid your eyes on them or even spoken to them. So how do we change this? How do we have a real relationship with the One who has given us everything? You have repented and received Jesus as Lord and Savior. You believe God sent Him to pay the price of your sins redeeming you and giving you eternal life, yet They still seem so far away.

We are on this journey together. As I am writing these words I am learning myself what it means to have a better relationship with Jesus, His Spirit and our Heavenly Father, Abba. We are sinners saved by His grace and love. Yet we hurt and so we hurt those around us. A lot of the time we hurt others not realizing what we have done. As the saying goes, ‘Hurt people, hurt people.’

Too many of us have gone through this life hurting for one reason or another. We lack hope and trust. We feel like we are the only ones we can depend on and we don’t even feel capable of being able to do that most of the time. This is not the life God wants for us. He wants a close and intimate relationship with each of us. He loves us and wants so much better for us. We are at a place in our lives where we need to learn how true His love is. We need to learn to trust Him more and know His love never fails.

So let us examine our own relationships and those we find in His Word. Really take a good look at the lives and relationships of those in the Bible and learn what it means t have a right relationship with Him and each other.

Right Relations / Adopted

Here I go again; this is not a complete work but once again a work in progress. I am aching if you or someone you know has a testimony on being adopted or having given a child up for adoption and would like to share it with me for this project please contact me in the comments and I will give you the contact information for you to be able to share your story. Let us together help others struggling in their relationships. God bless you.

Adopted

   If you have received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you are adopted. God paid the adoption fees to make you His child, you are now a son or daughter of our Heavenly Father. You can find stories in the Bible of how a parent gave their child up and trusted God to care for the child. Moses was put in a basket and placed in the river to save him from being put to death by Pharaoh’s orders. It was his daughter that found him and took him into her own home, one record of adoption. Hannah had prayed without ceasing to God for a child, promising that if God gave her a child she would return them to the Lord. God gave her Samuel and she kept her word and gave her son to be raised by the priests. Then there is Joseph, the husband of Mary, who you could say he was a stepfather to Jesus. Wow there was some big shoes to fill!

I do not know your story if you have been adopted, and cannot imagine how life was for you and I definitely cannot tell you how to feel about being given up for adoption. Maybe you lived through the foster care system and bounced from home to home. Hopefully you are one of the ones who was placed in a good and loving home. If you however grew up in a home where you never felt wanted or loved I am sorry and not because there is anything I can do to have stopped what ever you have lived through, but sorry because I cannot take that pain away.

For some of you it is still to painful to discuss, but for those of you who have reached the point of sharing your story thank you. The testimonies we share about what we have lived through and how God was with us and how He has helped us is something I pray will help another to find His peace, love and healing that they need.

I gave birth to a son when I was 19 years old. At a later time I will share how he came to be, however he does not know this story because I am afraid of how it will hurt him. The only other reminder of that day is a tiny knife scar on the inside of my right arm which is thankfully not very noticeable.  He was just over a year old when I agreed for him to go and live with my mother. My life was not in a good place and I was working two 40 hour a week jobs at the time. It was supposed to be temporary until I could get a stable home. Three years later my life was no more stable than when I sent him to be with my mom. There were two good things I did for my son, the first was acknowledging that the life I was living was not stable, the second was hiking up a mountain with him and a friend who was a chaplain and giving him to God. My mother was in a stable relationship and had a good home. Despite the issues I had with my mom back then I knew she was the better one to care for him. Then when he was four I had to move to Missouri at the request of my grandmother because Pops had had a stroke. I was told that he might now live past six months. So arrangements for me to move were made and I had to make a decision. Leaving my son behind not knowing when I would see him again was difficult. It also meant I would have to legally let go of him. My mother and her mate were more than happy when I told them I was ready to allow them to adopt him. They were legally his parents, but he grew up knowing who I was and I was still able to at least be a part of his life.The wonderful man he grew into is the reward of trusting God with my son. He is intelligent, hardworking, and loving. I am so proud of who he is today. I am also grateful for how well he was raised. If I had held on to my rights as a mother and he had to live through what I did I can imagine how the type of man he is today would not have happened. I love my son and I do not regret my decision and I thank God for the wonderful couple who raised him and taught him so much that he is able to make the right decisions for himself. To me he is my ‘Moses baby’, and I am still trusting God with his life.

Please if you have your own testimony to share please contact me, thank you.

You were supposed to protect me

Many years ago while I was living back in California There was a child abuse case that had me enraged. I was not personally involved in it but as I read the newspaper article I could not believe who had been abusing these children. A C.P.S. worker whose job was to transport these children had been molesting children who were already victims of abuse during transport. This man who was supposed to be a protector had victims literally dropped into his lap. Though he was convicted he received a sentence that shocked me on how short it was and was being released to live in my neighborhood. As I read this article I remember my mother to telling me I needed to stop reading the news because it upset me too much.

The outrage was not mine alone neighbors were afraid of having a sex offender who victimized children in their neighborhood. This man was supposed to protect these already traumatized children. It was his job. He was a first responder to emergency situations where children had to be immediately removed from homes. In my eyes this man is a monster who preyed on the weak and injured. I could not believe that after being convicted this man was given such a light sentence which seemed to be not much more than a slap on the wrist.

So after all these years why write about it now? To be honest I do not know what brought this back to my mind. He was not the one who had abused me. Yet the memory of this incident is fresh in my mind today. There are so many children in the world today who are being abused in one way or another. Who is protecting them? Who is fighting for them? Thankfully there are some groups who are doing this but they are limited in what they can do. They can’t prevent what is being done and are not able to know about victims until it is too late for some.

Those who are in the homes and lives of these children are the first line of defense.  Yet how many times is a blind eye turned. People do not want to get involved and even worse when one parent knows what is going on but does nothing. What are these children supposed to think? Who can they trust? What happens to them? How does this effect the person they grow up to be?

T.D. Jakes made a movie Woman Thou Art Loosed that was based on a woman who had been sexually abused as a child and how as an adult it was still effecting her life. Tyler Perry’s movie, Family Reunion included a story of one of the daughters who had not only been molested by her stepfather the mother even groomed her daughter for her husband. How unfortunate that even though these movies are fictional they are based on things that happen in real life. Real victims who have people in their lives who turn their backs on them. People who could stop the pain and suffering. Parents, family, friends, care takers, and neighbors to name those who are closest to these children. For what ever reason they do not get involved they do nothing to protect these children. Yet these same people turn and blame God not realizing that God wanted to work through them, to use them to protect and defend. In the movie, The Encounter, there is a scene that I remember vividly. In this scene a teenage girl who had been sexually abused by her stepfather was yelling at Jesus asking Him where was He? His response has stuck with me. He said, ‘I was there yelling into his ear to stop’ but because of free will, all He could do was plead with her stepfather. Yes God is powerful enough to stop us in our tracks but He does not because of the gift of free will. Something He won’t give to just one and deny another. We are His hands and feet. He wants us to take action to be watchmen and guards who protect.

Ephesians 6:4 ESV  Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

John 17:15 ESV  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

I grew up believing my mother left me to my father who had abused her and then becoming the one he abused. Angry that she had left me behind only to save herself. Unfortunately it was only six years ago that I learned she had to make a sacrifice that she never spoke of. After one very horrifying act against my mother, he threatened her with me and my brother. Making it clear that if she did not leave us with him and give him custody I would not be alive today. There were relatives of his that knew what he was doing yet did nothing and even let me believe the terrible things he said to me about her. Even to this day they defend him. As I grew up my mother even let me speak any disrespectful words about him around her. She did not defend herself either. I am only sorry that we had only began to heal our relationship before she died suddenly of a massive stroke. I am still heartbroken that t took a tragedy inflected upon me by my stepmother and father to reveal what was done to her, how much of my life was wasted being angry at her and the guilt and shame she lived with so I could still be alive today. She couldn’t stop him from hurting me but she did keep me alive and for this I will be forever grateful. I know this is just a small piece of my life. At least I can say now I know she did her best to protect me. (I love and miss you Momma.)